A-Rod continues to ruin everything

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Remember when Bill Madden of the Daily News said Alex Rodriguez “will never play another game for the Yankees?” That he had what the Daily News headlined as “an evil plan” to “claim he was physically unable to perform” and collect insurance money?

Subway Squawkers does, and today catalogs all of the ways in which Madden got the A-Rod story wrong over the past few months. Sorry: how Spink Award winner Bill Madden got the A-Rod story wrong.

The best part: Squawkers notes that now that the Yankees are winning and A-Rod is showing that he is quite capable of physical performance, Madden has gone curiously silent on the guy, underplaying his role in the Yankees’ recent surge.

Reporters hate it when individual games twist right at the end, ruining the story they’ve been working on and making them rewrite before deadline.  I guess that happens with the longer-term storylines as well. 

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.